Are you kidding me?

October 27, 2016

 

 

Rhetorical questions are a great tool when crafting a speech.

 

What is a rhetorical question? It is a figure of speech used to make a point rather than to elicit an answer, and guess what...you are using it every day.

 

  • Could I possibly love you more?

  • What's the matter with you today?

  • Why bother? 

 

However, I observed a couple of inspirational keynotes presentations where the use of the interrogative form is overused, and it kills me.

Why? Because it tells me that the speech writer has no content to share.

 

When on stage, it is your duty to make a bold statement, to present what you think. If you are in need of asking yourself loads of questions on the meaning of life, go to the self-help section of a library, or call a friend but clearly you are not ready to go on stage and give a meaningful, generous gift to the audience.

 

When I listen to a speaker, I expect more than being asked questions. I want content, emotions, and a connected experience. Too much questioning slaughters the message. 

 

When Martin Luther King declared on the 28th August 1963 "I have a dream", he made a bold statement. For fun, pick up the script and use the questioning form and witness how the whole speech loses its impact. 

 

"Do you have a dream today?”

"How would you feel if this dream deeply rooted in the American dream?”

 

When speaking to an audience, work on the content, then work some more on the content, adjust the content and polish the content.

The audience? They want to hear your insights, your thoughts, your story. 

Use the question mark sparingly.

 

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Cécile Bastien Remy

SPEAK4IMPACT

Public Speaking Jedi - Trainer - Speaker

cecile(at)speak4impact.net

+41 79 345 8087

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